MEMBERS of the public are advised to explore all other healthcare options before attending University Hospital Limerick (UHL) over the Bank Holiday weekend.
A statement from UL Hospital Groups, responsible for UHL, said the hospital is expecting higher than normal attendances over the weekend and advised the public to be aware of their other options, such as pharmacies, out-of-hours GP services, and minor injury units before attending the Dooradoyle Emergency Department.
This comes as the Limerick Post previously reported that UHL had the worst July on record for hospital overcrowding, and marked 50 consecutive days as the most overcrowded hospital in the country, according to figures from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation.
The statement from UL Hospitals Group (ULHG) said that extra emergency medicine consultants and nursing staff would be rostered for triage in the Emergency Department (ED), and senior ULHG management will be on site every day.
Additional radiology support is also in place over the weekend to support diagnostic reporting.
Dr Damien Ryan, Emergency Medicine Consultant and ULHG Clinical Director of Urgent and Emergency Care said: “The ED at UHL is one of the busiest in Ireland, as it serves people from three counties. Long waits are inevitable for patients who are not acutely ill with life-threatening conditions or injuries, those are the priority cases in any ED.”
“However, our Injury Units at Ennis, Nenagh, and St John’s are an excellent option for less acute injuries. People should familiarise themselves with the contact details of their nearest Injury Unit, which are available on the HSE website, and also ask their family doctors about Medical Assessment Units, where they can be referred by GPs for prompt diagnosis and treatment of a range of medical conditions,” he explained.
Prof Colette Cowan, UL Hospitals Group CEO, added: “All three of our Injury Units are being used in ever-increasing numbers by people who sustain injuries that are not threatening to life or limb but still require prompt medical attention.”
“At a time when our ED is being attended by very high numbers of extremely sick patients, Injury Units can treat those less acute injuries and conditions within a much shorter time than would be possible in the ED,” she concluded.